MiniDV vs. DVD Camcorders?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by WinkWink726, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. WinkWink726 macrumors regular

    WinkWink726

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh Area, PA
    #1
    So... Im looking for a camcorder to use for basic stuff...

    vacations
    family functions
    the typically recorded crap that families tend to find awesome while others find them mind numbing...
    that having been said...

    im looking for something that will work with iMovie and is mid range no more than say 350ish?

    but I was just curious if anyone had any suggestions on a model

    and if MiniDV was a decent way to go? I mean, is the technology going anywhere? or are they starting to phase it out?

    Oh! and (y'know... a new MacBook) so if its firewire dependant (and not sure if they are or not, just throwing this out there), there'd have to be an alternative to get the video to the computer.

    Thanks for any and all help you guys!
     
  2. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

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    In my imagination
    #2
    If you want it to work with iMovie, then you want to go MiniDV.

    The MiniDVD cameras may not work with iMovie and/or may need to have the footage extracted since those cameras shoot in a format special to the brand of camera.

    It was that way when they first came out, making them virtually useless to edit footage off of.

    MiniDV, or even any standard definition hard disk camcorder will do you fine.
     
  3. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Edinburgh, U.K.
  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #4
    while I agree that miniDV is way better than DVD camcorders... you won't be able to use either because they are firewire dependent.

    you'll have to go with a HDD/SDHC camera. these cams aren't the most compatible with iMovie (takes converting).

    so you're kinda stuck with those...
     
  5. eleven2brett macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Location:
    H-Town
    #5
    The miniDVD is a deathtrap! I remember when my friend got one. He would often forget to finalize the disk before he swapped it for another one, this made everything on that disk worthless.
    Another big thing was that his camera (and i'm not sure that this is changed) recorded to the dvd with mpeg-1 to save space on the small dvd. mpeg-1 looks like crap.
    If I were you, I would go with either a MiniDV (which is what i own and have never had a problem with) or a hard drive camera.
    General question, is a MiniDV's capture time more than an HDD camera's?
     
  6. TJRiver macrumors 6502

    TJRiver

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #6
    For your stated uses, go with the miniDV. It is totally compatable with iMovie, makes a great way to archive your footage (tapes are cheap and last a long time) and a really competent miniDV camcorder can be had quite cheaply.

    I have a lower end Sony that works great. Often the more expensive models have bells and whistles that you really don't need. Stay away from the miniDVD. If you decide to go with a hard drive camcorder, make sure it is compatable with iMovie. Most are not.
     
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #7
    stop stop stop!

    You didn't read his post, the OP has a new Macbook with no firewire.

    sooooo miniDV in any form is not an option. I posted that last night and you seemed to ignore that.

    the OP is stuck with HDD/SDHC cameras.

    @eleven: minDV capture is real-time. HDD file conversion will depend on the speed of your computer.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    DVD cameras are for people who don't understand computers and just want a to watch the raw footage on their TV. If that is you then go with the DVD.

    Mini DV is for people who will edit the footage down to a "show" and then burn the finished content to DVD or some other distribution format. If you are wanting to edit and so on and are not computer-phobic then Mini DV is for you.

    Most consumers fall into the first category and are happy to watch those pictures they took of the sky and their feet or whatever so the DVD cams outsell the DV cams now. These people are hapy that they don't have to mess with a computer just to watch there vidios. In fact that is the main (only??) selling point of a DVD camera. Your needs may differ from the majority, I don't know.

    EDIT: I just read you don't have firewire. No good. Go buy a cheap used G4 mini for $250. They have FW and work well.
     
  9. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #9
    MiniDV is a proven mechanism, so you've got that. No idea though if those DVD cams meet or exceed DV25. It depends how much you plan to do here. If it's to shoot birthday parties, then DVD might be a quick/dirty solution. If you want to do more, then I'd look for a more comprehensive solution.

    But yeah, you're stuck in transfering without FireWire. You'll have to ingest from a HDD or SSD camera, or pick up a cheap loader Mac to transfer footage and then copy over.
     
  10. TJRiver macrumors 6502

    TJRiver

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #10
    Ummmmm, actually, did read the post. My MiniDV will export in USB, just not as well as firewire. Buying another Mac just to get a firewire port seems a bit much, plus the loss of quality if one keeps copying. If you go w/ the HDD cam, be sure the file format is compatable...
     
  11. WinkWink726 thread starter macrumors regular

    WinkWink726

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    Pittsburgh Area, PA
    #11
    Really? BC if so, I'm totally sold!!!
     
  12. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #12
    There's little point to mini-DV unless you have firewire, which you don't. Yes, some mini-DV camcorders allow you to transfer low quality video (and stills) over USB, but is that what you want? I'm with bigboss here: a memory card or hard drive camcorder is the way to go.
     
  13. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #13
    What is your camera? Because I know of none that transfers full quality over USB.

    Do not get a miniDV cam if you do not have firewire, period. Do not get a DVD cam, period.

    This list is for iMovie '08, but I am sure these cameras work with '09. Just look at the tapeless camera options for your format (NTSC or PAL).

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1014
     
  14. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #14
    Just buy a Flip Mino HD.

    They are cheap, they are great quality (high def), they work fine with Macs.
     
  15. WinkWink726 thread starter macrumors regular

    WinkWink726

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh Area, PA
    #15
    a friend of mine pointed these out to me, cool yes!
    But for practical family vacations, and kid milestones.... not so much :(
     
  16. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #16
    Why?

    They are extremely compact, the quality is far better than that of standard Mini DV, and it holds 60 minutes of video, and works fine with iMovie.

    Because of its size and weight the video might end up a little shaky even with a steady hand, but you can even buy a tripod for it, and the latest iMovie 09 comes with a built in shaky cam.

    Heres an example of the Flip Minos video quality, make sure you click the watch in HD below the video. Prepare to be amazed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj4NNLLl-J4

    and these

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZdGuFiRnxo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAtJ8kSfFhU
     

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